OGIRISI: a New Journal of African Studies

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Hopefulness in hopelessness: a hermeneutical application of Rom 4:18 to Nigerian situation

Dominic Obielosi


Nigeria is best described as a clay-footed giant. She is the most populated nation in Africa. She is advantaged and naturally blessed with rich minerals. Yet, she is a nation of two contraries: classed as a nation with happiest people and yet one of the most corrupt in the world. Politically, the civil war of 1967-1970, military coups, formation of political parties are all efforts to set our nation on the right track. Economically, several borrowing from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, the different economic policies like Austerity measure, Structural Adjustment Programme policies are all stakes to wake the sleeping giant. Religiously, the story is not different. Because of the crushing hardship bedeviling our nation, some have created imaginary God and are living in utopian world. Most so called Men of God seize the opportunity to loot the already wounded flock through prosperity preaching and false promises in the name of prophecies. In the maze of these man-made problems, the repercussion is obvious. Man is still the victim. Many get poorer. Demographically, there seem to be more deaths than births in Nigeria today. The living tends to act very wickedly towards others. There is scarcely genuineness in dealings and life. There is no assurance of trust. Nigeria portends the imagery of failed hope. This paper draws from the exegesis of Rom 4:18 to encourage Nigerians to rise in hope and take their destiny in their hands. The paper believes that hope is not lost. Individuals only need authentic understanding of God and a non-risk free challenging of himself to survive rather than empty trust in the government and deceptive religious prophecies.

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